Refers to the system of solar monotheism in ancient Egypt, particularly during the reign of the pharaoh Akhenaton (Amenophis IV) in the 14th century BCE. Aten (or Aton), the Egyptian word for the sun disc, was depicted as a round solar disc with rays that end in hands. Aten was originally an aspect of the sun god Re but had begun to be worshipped in its own right during the reign of Akenaton's two predecessors. Akhenaton believed that Aten was the only deity worth worshipping and he presecuted other deities such as the prominent Amun. Akhenaton was considered the sole intermediary between Aten and the world. An interest in art flourished during this time, and the resulting painting and sculpture is more naturalistic than earlier Egyptian art. Follows of Atenism worshipped the actual sun as a giver of life, beauty, and love through its light and warmth. Atenism was disruptive among the ruling classes and had little impact on the beliefs of the common people; the new religion collapsed shortly after Akhenaton's death and the old gods were reinstated.